Talent man charged in Ashland car break-ins

A Talent man with 11 felony convictions since 2001 is back in jail after allegedly breaking into cars in Ashland and stealing a shotgun from one of them.

Sandee Dane Kensinger, 26, who told Jackson County Circuit Court he lives in a home in the 900 block of Suncrest Road in Talent, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of first-degree theft, being a felon in possession of a firearm, second-degree theft, second-degree criminal mischief, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and possession of burglary tools.

Kensinger is suspected of breaking into three cars at various points of Ashland late last month and stealing items inside. In one of the cars, which was parked on Laurel Street, he reportedly stole a shotgun, Ashland police Officer Bon Stewart said.

"It was pretty unusual, because all the break-ins happened during the daylight hours," Stewart said. "Most of our car clouts, as we call them, happen at night and the cars are usually unlocked."

Stewart would not comment on the specifics of the break-ins but said a tool was used to enter the cars.

On May 26, Ashland officers learned that Kensinger was associated with a car seen driving in Phoenix.

He was a passenger inside the car when officers pulled it over. Kensinger was taken into custody and the stolen items were later recovered at a residence, Stewart said.

Kensinger has a long history of methamphetamine arrests, Jackson County Circuit Court records show.

Since 2001 Kensinger has been arrested for possession of methamphetamine eight times. For each arrest he received an average of a 10-day jail sentence and was ordered to pay court costs. He still owes money on the majority of his 11 felony arrests dating back nine years.

He also has convictions for burglary in 2002 and identity theft in 2008 and 2004, court records show.

Stewart said guns remain popular targets for criminals who make money breaking into cars.

"Guns are easy to sell on the black market," he said. "There's always someone looking to buy a gun. Usually those people cannot pass the criminal background check to purchase a gun."

Stewart advises anyone choosing to transport a gun to keep it out of plain sight. The best route is to bring the gun inside your home and keep it locked in a gun safe, Stewart said.

Chris Conrad is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach him at 541-776-4471 or e-mail him at cconrad@mailtribune.com.

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